Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Weekend Snapshots ~ 5: Sunday in Southbank

Southbank is one of my favourite places in the whole of London as there is so much to do and see there.  The best thing is that even if you have no money, you can just go and take photos of all of the exhibits and people and that, of course, is free! On Sunday, Stephen and I caught the train to Charing Cross station to meet up with my old friend Gavin.  Gavin and I met at university in South Africa and he now works for a super big company (not sure if I can name it!) in Seattle, Washington.  In the past couple of weeks he has been to Johannesburg, Warsaw, Milan and Sofia and was just stopping off in London for a couple of days before heading out back to the States.  I quite correctly guessed that he must have been tired of travelling by now and ready to go home!

We walked over the western of the Golden Jubilee Bridges but unfortunately, I was just so happy to see my friend that I didn’t take any photos of the bridge or from the bridge.  Bad Tourist!

Southbank May 2010 1

I was absolutely thrilled to finally catch up with the Elephant Parade.  The Elephant Parade is a conservation campaign that seeks to educate people about the plight of Asian elephant which are endangered.  There are over 250 brightly painted elephants around London and they are absolutely gorgeous.  The elephants are for sale through auction but if you don’t have a spare £500 lying around, you can buy mini elephants from Selfridges and Greenwich Central Market or at the elephant parade online shop

Southbank May 2010 3

I’ll utter the understatement of the decade here and say that I want one.

Southbank May 2010 4

Of course, I got to see two of my very favourite London landmarks too.

Southbank May 2010 6

Southbank May 2010 5 Southbank May 2010 2
The London Eye and the Houses of Parliament

I love the fishy details on the lamp posts in this area of London. 

It began to rain quite heavily at this point so we scuttled off to Ping Pong dim sum restaurant at Festival Terrace for some delicious dim sum, sticky rice parcels and rice bowls.

Southbank May 2010 7

Ping Pong has an awesome set up and you can just keep ordering food until you are all full up and you can split the bill nicely too.  I think it is the perfect location for groups of people who like to share their food.  The interesting aspect is that they like to seat groups of people at tables together which is always interesting but we had no table mates on this occasion.

Once again, I was a Bad Tourist and was having too much fun catching up and swapping music recommendations to take photos of the food.  Gavin is one of the few people I know who is as obsessed with music as I am so it is always fun to chat.

Southbank May 2010 8

This was the view outside of the restaurant while we were eating.  Poor elephant!  And yes, that is a fair idea of what May looks like in London.  There is a reason for the old proverb: Ne'er cast a clout till May be out.

We had a lovely afternoon but it was all over too soon.  Hopefully we’ll see Gavin next year in the States!



  1. Oh, these photos are making me SO London "home"-sick! Wish the elephants had been there during my stay...

  2. This reminds me of an exhibition we have on the streets of Z├╝rich every two years. Two years ago it was bears all over the city. About eight years ago it was full size cows everywhere. Like the elephants of London, it is possible to buy one. I often still spot a cow in an unlikely place and we have a bear just outside my house.

  3. I wish I could be a bad tourist in London too! Thank you so much for showing us these places.

    And I want one of those typographical elephants at my home :D

  4. Lovely outing :-)

    Need to visit Ping Pong sometime I say!

  5. It sounds like a beautiful Sunday - the description of Ping Pong made me hungry!

    I did feel sorry for that poor, rain-soaked elephant in the last photo, though. He looks so sad in the downpour!

  6. HI Emm!

    Great post!

    Really liked Ping Pong. I will have to run by and get me some lovely Dim Sum! It looks like a stylish place!

    Have you seen what Harper's Bazaar, Esquire Queensland and Sydney (and many more) have teamed up to for?

    Very stylish as well...be sure to check it!


  7. Wow...I like the lovely elephants. But how poor he was all wet on that day....I also like dim sum restaurant, it seems very interesting to seat group of people at tables together. Absoutely I am the same as you, I like mostly get together with friends with coffee and conversation. What a nice weekend!

  8. Lovely, lovely! I can't wait to move "home" again :-)

  9. @ Kathy: They are so adorable aren't they!!?? I think the organisation tours the world so make sure you keep your eyes open for them.

    @ PM Doolan: Hi! Thanks for popping by! Did the cow have a purpose too? Were they also raising money?

    @ Fullet: I have to be honest - if I still had my lovely South African home with its big garden, I would have been sorely tempted to splash out on one of those elephants!

    @ Ash: I would certainly recommend Ping Pong - every time I go there, I just want to go back. Contrast that to Wagamamma where I'm not really bothered about returning.

    @ MissDiarist: I know! Poor elephant!! Ping Pong is especially delicious! Thanks for popping by and visiting my blog!

    @ Unspoken: It is stylish but nice and casual too.

    @ Ellen: Heh. He did look rather sad out there in the rain.

    @ JaPRA: Another expat characteristic - calling several places "home" with equal gusto and meaningfulness!


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